He spotted the empty trotro coming from 120 meters away and he slowly detached himself from the company of the small crowd also waiting for a car at the bus-stop. He strolled tentatively towards the approaching two-o-seven in a manner not to attract attention to himself, lest he alerted the rest of the crowd – he had to get on board without much struggle. He signaled for the driver to stop but the vehicle drove past him and headed straight into the thickness of the waiting crowd. “Oh?” He jogged after the car and contemplated entering through the window lest the car got full before he got a seat.
Thirty seconds – that’s how long the struggle took. The scuffle for a seat in the trotro was accompanied by a lot of Ei’s and Ah’s amidst swear words and pushing. Everyone settled down quickly and the look of accomplishment could be seen plastered across their sweaty faces.
“Madam, ɛhɔ yɛ me seat o” the mate blurted out. He disliked it when passengers knowingly occupied his seat and tried to feign obliviousness. The woman who occupied the mate’s seat tried to persuade him but he was not in the mood to listen to her. “Ayɛ ma. Si fɛm wai.”
She got off looking forlorn and he slid the door shut after her. “Master, Away!” then with that, the trotro took off.
He sat there with a grumpy look on his face. He didn’t get to sit at his favourite spot in the trotro: at the very back, in the corner, right by the window – by the window! That was more important to him than anything else. He found himself seated next to someone else who would assume control of the window and he blamed the driver and his mate for this. If only they had stopped when he signaled them.
“Yesss! Mo mma me nketewa wai.” The mate was about to take the fares. He smiled despite his grumpy state. The mate no get change eh? I go show am. He opened his wallet and discreetly pushed the 2 cedi notes further into the wallet and took out his only 50 cedi note… then he patiently waited for his turn to pay.
He calmly went over his lines one last time even though he really didn’t need to. He had been doing this for the past three months and the speech had been committed to memory without much conscious effort. He was glad to have already been in the trotro before it got the bus-stop because he didn’t see how he could’ve competed with these fierce passengers for a seat with his backpack. He opened the bag which now lay on his lap, checked the contents one last time and prepared to make his introduction to these warriors. He stood and turned to face the passengers with a broad smile..
“Ayooo. Anuanom ne Adofonom….”